A few years ago my family and I took a Baltic Cruise out of Denmark. Before setting sail though we made a stop over in Iceland. Iceland in August, wonderful right?! Long, long days of sunlight, warm summer weather and the tail end of the puffin season, we were in for a real treat. Well, at least two of these facts were true. We had endless days of sunlight for our short stay and we were treated to puffin sightings not far off the coast by boat. The summer weather though, didn’t seem to get the memo that it was summer time. But isn’t it the misadventures that make the best stories?
I enjoy a trip anywhere, at anytime of the year. I don’t need tropical or even warm weather to have a wonderful time in a new place. In fact I had been prepared for cooler weather when we arrived in Iceland and had packed what I thought would be warm enough clothes. Let’s just say I should have thrown in a pair of wool socks, although it was a great excuses to do a little shopping.
Despite the rainy, cold weather we have a wonderful time in Iceland. Touring the Golden Circle to take in Strokkur geyser, Gullfoss waterfall and the breathtaking volcanic landscape was a highlight of the trip. It was halfway through the tour, dodging pelting rain drops and running out to see the sights during the breaks of rain, that my mother lovingly gave me her socks to wear, since new leather Sperry’s were a very poor shoe choice for myself. Typical Katy move, this is something we still laugh about today. It also has cemented in my memory the soft, warm feeling of the Icelandic wool socks I immediately bought and sported with my Sperry’s (despite the fact they looked ridiculous with my outfits) for the rest of our time in Iceland. What’s a little fashion faux pas when your feet are blistered and cold?
In true White Family fashion we also had a great time taking pictures in viking hats at all the major sites along the way. Leave it up to my mum to find just the right accessory to liven up our trip. This also happened to make us just as popular a photo op as some of the sights for many other tourist families who couldn’t believe those crazy people wearing those hats!
Taking a puffin tour out of Reykjavik was another great experience, rain or no rain. The day of our tour the wind was whipping, the rain was coming down and the seas, well they looked a little bit choppy. Having such limited time, we braved the weather for a chance to glimpse puffins preparing to leave their nests. They really are amazing, hardy, little birds! We were treated to lots of active puffins, diving for food, flying around and hanging out around their nests. Though through the rain and distance, the puffin sightings will have to forever be locked in my memory as the birds are nothing but dots on the pictures I was able to capture. The tour also provided another perfect chance to strike a viking pose (yes, a total tourist move).
But of all the interesting and new things I saw and did in Iceland, the thing that shocked me the most was the fact that there was a Dunkin Donuts right around the corner from where we were staying. Seriously, a Dunkin Donuts…in Iceland! It just didn’t occur to me that we would be running on Dunkin. The best part about this Dunkin was that while we were able to get in and out quickly in the morning to get our coffee and donuts, at night there was a wrap around line and security guard at the door. Who would have thought.
In the few days we had in Iceland we were able to cram in quite a bit. Of course we saw the major sights and made a trip to the Blue Lagoon, but it was the little moments and misadventures of the trip that I remember best.